Chocolate Almond Breakfast Muffins
We love bananas… but only for the first few days. As soon as those bananas get soft and covered in spots? Forget it. Something about the mushy texture or the discoloration causes us to regress to our picky, 5-year old selves.
Luckily for us, adulthood has made us wise. So we let those bananas ripen to a deep brown…then turn them in to delicious, nutrient-dense muffins!
How Does a Banana Ripen?
As a banana ripens, it releases a plant hormone called ethylene. Ethylene is a gas made from the important detox amino acid: methionine. Methionine is also an essential amino acid, meaning it is sourced from the diet, as the body is unable to produce it. The release of ethylene gas is the reason fruit ripens when placed in a paper bag. The ethylene becomes trapped and increases in concentration. As a fruit becomes more ripe, more and more ethylene is produced. Therefore, if you want to ripen a fruit or vegetable faster, place it in a paper bag with a ripened banana, sit back, and watch the magic happen!
How Does Ethylene Work?
Ethylene works by increasing intracellular levels of certain enzymes (proteins that increase the speed of chemical reactions) within the fruit. The key enzymes involved in fruit ripening are the same enzymes that are found in human saliva: amylase and pectinase. In the mouth, these enzymes work to break down food and allow for digestion. They do the same to green fruits! Amylase breaks down starch to simple sugars, which is why fruit becomes softer and sweeter as it ripens. Pectinase breaks down pectin, a substance that keeps fruit hard. Other enzymes are responsible for breaking down chlorophyll, a chemical that causes the green color in plants. This is why ripened fruit loses the green hue and takes on tones of red, yellow or brown.
Breakfast Muffin Recipe
These muffins do not contain added sugar, except for the small amount introduced by the (optional) chocolate chips. The sweetness of the bananas and flavor of the almond butter is more than adequate…your taste buds will love you! Filled with protein, good fats, insulin regulating spices, nutrients and minerals, this recipe makes the perfect breakfast or healthy snack. The best part? You’ll struggle to believe these muffins are good for you. They’re just. that. tasty. As with all of our recipes, you can make this one your own. Check our variations at the bottom for ideas.
- 5 small Bananas (ripened)
- ½ cup Almond Butter (Or 1 cup almonds thoroughly blended in a food processor)
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Eggs
- ½ cup Coconut Flour (for Paleo, otherwise regular or gluten-free flour will work)
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ cup Chocolate Chips (optional, our favorite brand is Enjoy Life)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, smash bananas with a fork.
- Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add flavoring options, spoon in to lined muffin containers, ⅔ full.
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes at 350°F for bite-size muffins, 20-30 for regular, 30+ for large muffins.
Allergic to almonds? Hate bananas? This recipe can be altered as needed! As long you adhere to the wet/dry ratio, you can make alterations to fit your preferences. Swap out the almonds for peanuts, cashews, hemp seeds, or sunflower seeds. Swap the bananas for zucchini (press well!), pumpkin (add a sweetener in this case!), carrots or kohlrabi!
- Cranberry Macadamia Nuts (replace chocolate chips)
- Apple Pecan (replace half of the mashed bananas with apple sauce, replace chocolate chips with pecan slices)
- Lemon Poppy-seed (add poppy seeds, add 1 tsp lemon extract)
- Pumpkin Pecan (swap pumpkin for banana, pecans for chocolate, add cardamom and/or cloves, and add 2 tbsp of honey or .25 cup of coconut sugar)